One of the biggest obstacles of learning a new language is to get used to the speed of native speakers. It doesn’t really matter what language you’re learning, native speakers often speak way too fast for a beginner to make out the words. Sure, you’ll eventually need to get used to that speed, but slow pronunciation is very useful in the beginning stages. In the OUINO program, everything was recorded in two pronunciation speeds to help you understand native speakers, but what about everything else? In this post, we’ll show you a few online resources to slow things down when learning a new language.
Material that has been recorded using a slow pronunciation sounds more natural than digitally slowed down audio. Finding slow podcasts online is quite easy in most languages. Just type in “slow Spanish”, “slow French”, or any language in Google and you’ll find a variety of podcasts that have been recorded slowly. Some of them even have the transcript to follow along. The power of listening to slow audio and reading at the same time is incredible.
Slow podcasts are great, but they’re limited and can get a bit boring after a while. Videos, on the other hand, are virtually unlimited and are very engaging. They are millions of them, so it’s very easy to find topics you find interesting. The problem is that most videos weren’t created with language learning in mind, so they’ll speak very fast. The good news is that you can slow them down digitally to make things easier to understand.
In YouTube, there is already a feature that’s built in to slow down the videos. Simply click on the settings menu, and choose your preferred speed. We find that 0.75 works great for most videos. If you try to slow it down further, the video might sound too robotic to be truly beneficial.
Most other video services on the web don’t have that slow option built in. Fortunately, there are great apps that will add this option to all HTML videos in your browser. The one we like to use is called “Video Speed Controller” and it works on Chrome and Firefox. Once the app is installed, you will see options on the top left corner of all your videos. You can reduce the speed in 10% increments. Simply find the speed that feels comfortable to you. It even works on Netflix, so you can watch your favorite movies and TV shows in slow motion.
If you want to listen to material on the go, you can purchase audiobooks in the language you are learning and slow them down to your desired speed within most apps, including Audible. As a beginner, it can be very helpful to slow down the recordings of simple audiobooks. Plus, if you listen to an audiobook of a story you already know, you’ll be surprised by the number of words you can learn.
Slowing things down is a great way to learn new words and sentence structure. However, you should also try to listen at full speed in order to train your ears to the natural speed of the language. Slow pronunciation is a great tool, but much like training wheels on your bike, you’ll eventually need to take them off if you want to follow everyone else.
We have combined everything we know from years of language acquisition and research to create an awesome language-learning method. Visit OUINO.com to learn more.
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